Former Russian Formula One driver Daniil Kvyat said Tuesday that “sports should remain outside politics” and decried the banning of Russian athletes from competition as “unfair” after his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia have been thrown out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and all its national teams and clubs banned from international football competitions.
The decision by FIFA and UEFA, as well as similar suspensions announced by other sports, including athletics and ice skating, came after the International Olympic Committee urged sports federations to impose bans on Russia and Belarus.
Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix scheduled for September 25 was cancelled on Friday.
The FIA also announced Tuesday that Russian drivers would not be able to compete under their country’s flag and that the Russian national anthem will no longer be played in F1.
“Sports federations across the world including the IOC should remain outside politics,” Kvyat said in a social media post.
“Disallowing Russian athletes and teams from participating in world competitions is an unfair solution.
“Who else if not us sports people will help glue together nations in the upcoming times.”
Kvyat, who drove for Red Bull and Toro Rosso in F1, said he hopes “for a peaceful solution in Ukraine”.
“Hopefully all parties can find a solution by sitting together and through a respectful dialogue,” he said.
“It horrifies me to see two brotherhood nations in a conflict.
“I don’t want military actions or wars to influence the future of humanity, I want my daughter and all children to enjoy this beautiful world.”
Kvyat, 27, is Russia’s most successful Formula One driver, winning 202 points in his career with three podium finishes. He last raced in the sport in 2020.